Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, who was at the center of an international row when China refused to let him leave the country, is now at the center of an espionage scandal.
As part of a deal that bought him to America, Chen was given a one-year fellowship at New York University. He just went public with the fact that he was given a spyware-infected iPad and iPhone as gifts by a supporter days after he arrived in the United States. The infected devices were allegedly given to him by Heidi Cai, the wife of activist Bob Fu, who runs an activist organization that supports underground churches in China and helps victims of forced abortions.
Shortly after he was given the electronic devices, NYU technicians found highly unusual software on them. Both the iPad and iPhone were installed with apps running in the background that notified an unnamed third party of their GPS location and backed up the devices’ contents onto an unknown remote server.
The news was disclosed as part of a rift between Chen and NYU; he alleges that the Chinese government put pressure on the university, preventing it from renewing his fellowship.